Wood Carving as a Creative Tool for Healing through BDD

Ben shares his experience of BDD and how woodwork is helping him cope day to day

My name is Ben and I have been suffering with BDD since my late teens and so I’m getting on for nearly 23 years living with the condition. It’s been very much peaks and troughs over the years and I’ve been through various types of treatment including multiple rounds of CBT and various medications. I’ve seen some improvements but it remains something I try to deal with on a daily basis.

During the COVID pandemic, when we were all in the lockdown, I was looking for something to occupy myself with and stumbled across wood carving / whittling on YouTube. I bought myself a set of carving knives and some blocks of Basswood and gave it a go. I quickly found that I really enjoyed it and it became a brilliant way of occupying myself and providing a distraction. I continued with the wood carving beyond COVID and it’s developed over the years into a bit of an obsessive hobby!

I’ve found that it’s been a huge help with me coping with BDD on a daily basis. It provides a great source of distraction and helps me switch off from the relentless thought processes and ruminations that BDD causes. It’s also a great distraction for my hands. My BDD causes endless checking behaviours ( touching / feeling my hair in particular) which I’m not able to do when holding a carving knife and piece of wood!

I wanted to share this passion of mine as it’s genuinely been (and continues to be) a real help in dealing with this all consuming condition.

If you want any further information or just want to reach out I’d be more than happy to speak to you.

Lots of Love, Ben.


The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation. Charity no. 1153753.